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By Howard Wheeldon, FRAeS, Wheeldon Strategic Advisory Ltd.

07 Jun 13. Being by far the single most important global aerospace event this year the 2013 Paris Air Show will open at Le Bourget Airport north of Paris on Monday week bringing together much of what is best in the world of commercial and military aerospace, aviation and space. For those who engage in the exciting world of aviation and whose professional lives are bound up in various forms of aerospace technology Paris can for one week be the greatest place in the world.

This after all is where you can not only look but see, feel, listen and network. Much business can be done at an event such as this but the real point is the combination being able to see the latest available technology and the ability to meet and network with colleagues and sometimes, even to talk with competitors as well!

Events such as the Paris Air Show, Farnborough and DSEi are all events at which future ideas, issues and sometimes products are born and that new partnerships and relationships can be established. Sure, there will be the usual raft of big order announcements from the commercial aerospace industry players that are very important for some but how much better is it to use an event such as this to see, talk and better understand all the various products on show?

So what can we expect to see at the fiftieth Paris Air Show event, what should we look out for, what’s new and what are the big potential excitements? Indeed, what are the big issues facing the civil and military aerospace industry and will we be any the wiser after this fantastic event?

The first thing to say is that in terms of what to expect at Paris 2013 it will be a bigger show than ever before with a number of new ‘firsts’ to excite visitors. I am reliably informed that considerable new infrastructure investment at Le Bourget this year should be very noticeable to visitors. In terms of commercial aircraft excitements my understanding at this stage is that the Boeing 787 will likely fly each day and that there will be another aircraft on static display.
Whether the Airbus A350 will make its maiden flight into or across the show is not yet known but I am of a mind to believe the aircraft will be seen at the Le Bourget event and that just as the A380 superjumbo had done when it made its first flight appearance at the 2005 Paris show to universal applause so it will probably be that the A350 makes a similar appearance at Paris 2013.

When all is said and done and this being the fiftieth Paris Air Show since the first in 1909 what better way could there be of celebrating the first flight of a completely new plane.

While cost issues which are an inevitable consequence of the now fully resolved technical problems suffered by Boeing on initial 787 deliveries just as that had been for Airbus on its now fully resolved A380 wing problems last year are likely topics for analysts for the most part those at Paris this year will be looking forward positively. Technology thrives!

With 890 orders on hand of which 57 aircraft have now been delivered Boeing will be active talking about the 787 programme as a whole and how it intends to make up lost time and move forward through the production of 833 aircraft that are yet to be built and delivered. Airbus, which entered into development of its new twin-aisle A350 aircraft somewhat later than Boeing, now has well over 600 of the aircraft on order. In addition Airbus has received orders for 1,246 of its A330 aircraft and delivered 984 whilst Boeing has received orders for 1,304 of its 777 family and delivered 957 aircraft so far.

The 787 and A350 may be the aircraft of the future and the success of the A330 and Boeing 777 unquestionable but these are not the only success stories from the world two largest airplane makers. Narrow bodied aircraft probably outsell wide bodied aircraft by a ratio of four to one and whi

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